Berkeley residents who work in Marin County now have an option other than driving to get to their jobs: a new bus line.
On Monday, Golden Gate Transit inaugurated the 580 line. The new bus route goes through Emeryville, Berkeley and Albany to San Rafael at 30-minute intervals five times in the morning during the week and makes the return trip five times in the evening.
The bus will travel between 6:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. along Hollis Street to Ashby Avenue and along San Pablo Avenue past Gilman Street, and then go down Buchanan Street to get onto Interstate 580, heading west. Its morning terminus is the San Rafael Transit Center. The buses will run in the reverse direction from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Fares are $5.25 in cash $4.20 with a Clipper Card, and $2.50 for youths and seniors.
“It’s all an effort to help reduce congestion on the highway,” said Priya Clemens, public information manager for Golden Gate Transit. “Congestion has increased significantly on that corridor.”
Golden Gate Transit received about $275,000 from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission to run a nine-month pilot project to see if the route attracts enough riders, said Clemens. The bus authority is hoping that around 220 people use the buses each day. If ridership is high enough, the routes will become permanent, she said.
Golden Gate Transit previously had two routes from Marin County into the East Bay – routes 40 and 42 – both of which went to the El Cerrito del Norte BART station. The local line, 42, has been eliminated, and the new 40 line should be faster and more efficient, said David Davenport, an associate planner for Golden Gate Transit.
The buses are equipped with free wi-fi. Bikes can be mounted on the front.
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